Hey everyone, I'm finally back! Over the past year, I have completed my first year at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. What an unforgettable experience full of so many new and exciting culinary ventures. If I explained my entire first year experience with you all in full detail, this blog post would be extremely long, so I'll summarize without leaving anything out!
First, let me go over what I'm studying incase you weren't here for the last blog post. I'm a Culinary Arts Bachelor's Program student, and I plan on also graduating with a Master's degree. I started my journey last fall as an Early Enrollment student, where I finished my senior year of high school while completing my first year of college at the same time! I'm beyond thankful I was able to be a part of this great program. Currently, I am sophomore status and will be junior status by this winter. I can't believe how fast time is flying by!
Let's rewind to when I first moved to Providence, Rhode Island. My bags were packed, and I was surely packed with excitement, and of course, some nerves. Although moving away for the first time, and starting college is difficult, Johnson and Wales University made this adjustment so much easier. From all of the events in the beginning of the year to acquaint fellow students, to the craft skill sessions offered on the weekends. I remember walking into a JWU kitchen in the Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence for the first time with my friend to attend a fish taco skills class, and feeling on top of the world. Words can explain how happy and at home I felt.
Shortly after starting in the fall, I was reached out to and joined the Johnson and Wales E-Cat team, where I cover events live on social media, along with writing articles for the JWU Culinary Now Blog, and JWU Admissions. I've loved every second of being apart of this incredible team.
Now let's fast forward to when I started my freshman labs during the winter trimester, and spring trimester. Over the course of these two trimesters, I completed 10 culinary labs with the most amazing "lab family" ever. Each lab is about 6 hours long, and equips you with so much skill and knowledge. One of my favorite lab experiences was in Cooking in the Global Marketplace with Chef Matthew Britt. I pushed myself everyday to challenge myself and learn new techniques every second. Another lab that was so interesting and fun was Exploring Beverages with Mr. Robert Weill, where I learned the craft of mixology, along with focusing on wine and beer production and tasting.
Along with learning about the back of the house, I experienced front of the house training in a dining room course with Instructor Mrs. Mary Bodensiek. It was so amazing to learn all about what takes place and how service in a fine dining establishment is executed. There's so much hard work and effort given from the front of the house to create an effortless and perfect experience for the guests.
I will say, although I loved every minute of labs, they were far from easy. Some days were rougher then others; sometimes dishes didn't turned out as planned, line service wasn't as organized as it could've been. Nevertheless, all of these experiences, good and bad, equipped me with knowledge of what to do and what not to do in the future.
I wouldn't change these chef whites and houndstooth pants for anything else. I love what I do.
Thank you to everyone- all of the amazing chef instructors, the best lab family ever, my amazing friends, and the E-Cat team. Can't wait to see you all soon!